plant-based living, mind & body stretching, barefoot mama
Leesalyn has been digging in the earth, climbing trees and communing with nature sprites for over four decades. Along this path she has befriended many plant allies and invites you to join the journey of healing and self discovery.
Awakened to suffering and the need for compassion from her farming homestead in central New York, Leesalyn's spiritual commitment to non-violence began. Recognized at an early age by school teachers, she was asked to speak with classrooms of peers about issues related to compassionate living and making non-violent choices.
Her desire to understand and be understood led her to the State University of New York at Oswego and the University of Connecticut in search of social and psychological answers. Frustrated by attempts toward a material solution, she left for the San Juan mountains of Colorado. While there, she met refugees relocated to this high arid climate from their Tibetan home. Inspired by their faith to overcome adversity through unconditional compassion, her studies of Eastern philosophy began.
In June of 2004, Leesalyn was initiated as Ramapriya (Skt: the Beloved of Rama) into the Sivananda International Vedanta community. She has since studied with many senior teachers and sat at the Dharma feet of Ram Dass, S.N. Goenka, Robert Hall, and His Holiness the Dalai Lama.
Leesalyn enjoys off-the-mat adventures in organic gardening, herbal healing and plant based living - exploring new ways of thinking globally while serving locally. She holds a special place in her heart for monkeys and shares their enthusiasm for dancing barefoot in the grass - Jai Jai Jai Sri Hanumanji!!!
With these experiences and the grace of my teachers, i don't profess to *know* the body or the mind, nor the course of this journey that we are on. All we can know and be is ourselves. May we all manifest the Truth that is within us.
Sarvesham Mangalam Bhavatu
Heartfelt Fairy artist, herbalist, owner
Elm Forest permaculture homestead stewardship
Starbright Preschool Waldorf/ Lifeways inspired teacher - yoga, garden, cooking
Cureville Alternative Healing, Crew Leader, Kerrville Folk Festival
Jacob Allen Arbor/ Dr Gersmith yurt design and fabrication
RestPit, peer to peer support & harm reduction
Education & Training
Herbal Medicine, Sacred Journey School of Herbalism, Ginger Webb, Austin, TX 2017-present
Earthbag Building, Thea Bryant & Kirby Fry, Bastrop, TX, 2015 & 2016
Permaculture Design Certificate, Caroline Riley-Carberry, One World Permaculture, Austin, TX 2013
Ayurvedic Thai Yoga Massage, Kam Thye Chow, Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Ashram, Nassau, Bahamas, 2013
Austin Waldorf School, Foundation Studies, Dr. Donald Melcer, Austin, TX, 2008
Communicating the Science of Yoga, Independent Study 500hr RYT, Austin, TX & Todo Santos, Baja Mexico Sur, 2007
Vipassana Meditation, Southwest Center, Kaufman, TX, annual 10 Day Sit, 2005-2010
Yoga Sirimoni 200hr RYT, Sivananda Yoga Vedanta ashram, Woodbourne, NY, 2004
Ashtanga yoga teacher training 200hr RYT, Mark Darby & Manju Jois, Yoga Yoga Westgate, Austin, TX, 2003 & 2004
Luminour Shabda Introduction to Sanskrit with Manorama I & II, Austin, TX, 2003 & 2005
Radiant Child Yoga Development with Shakta Kaur Khalsa, Austin, TX, 2002 & 2003
Hatha Yoga Teacher Training 200hr RYT, Synergy Center for Yoga & Healing Arts, Miama Beach, FL, 2001
Clay Sculpture & Wheel Crafting, and Wood Carving, Ah Ha School, Telluride, CO, 1998-2000
University of Connecticut at Storrs, Marriage and Family Therapy, Master of Arts, Magna cum laude, (incomplete/ early withdrawal), 1997
State University of New York at Oswego, Psychology/ Sociology, Bachelor of Arts Cum laude, 1996
Bliss Meditation and Yoga, Austin, TX October 2001 - present
Starbright Waldorf/Lifeways inspired preschool, Austin, TX 2016-present
Whole Life Learning Center, K-1 Lead teacher, Austin, TX 2012-2016
Greenwood Waldorf/Lifeways inspired preschool, Austin,TX 2006 -2013
Yandara Yoga Institute, Teacher Trainer, Todo Santos, Baja Mexico Sur 2005 - 2006
Yoga Yoga, Westgate/South Studio, Austin, TX 2002 - 2006
"Her cheerful and enthusiastic spirit are inspirational." ~ Linda
"She is a well received teacher who exemplifies the yogic lifestyle. She is both a dedicated student and teacher with impeccable character and integrity." ~ Mehtab, owner/founder of Yoga Yoga studios
"Just the right verbal and visual prompts to create a safe and wonderful class." ~ Roxanne
"I can still so vividly see you teaching about animal abuse ~ you did a great deal of good. You will always be my beautiful, spirited, diligent, and determined "student" and friend." ~ Mrs. Saikkonen 9th grade English
"Leesalyn was fabulous! I love the energy that she puts into conveying her love of yoga. My knowledge of yoga was expanded today. Thank you." ~ anonymous
"Who would have thought that at 37 I would be in some of the best shape i've ever been in ~ physically as well as mentally and spiritually. Practicing yoga with you has been an inspiration to me." ~ Jenny
"Meeting you has positively changed my life, i am very grateful. I haven't had dairy since i left the ashram. I feel my body really heard you." ~ Savitri
"You have had such an amazing influence on not just my own teaching style, but also on my life in general. Thanks for showing me how to find that balance within the chaos, the effort with the surrender." ~ Ina